While Labor Day typically indicates the end of summer, with more people working and learning remotely, they are also extending their travel plans to take advantage of the final days before seasons change. The Finger Lakes region has created an online resource to do just that – the Get on the Water Guide welcomes travelers to explore the region’s great outdoors and wide-open spaces with exclusive tips and tricks to suitably (and safely!) navigate the waters throughout the region well into fall: including all 11 lakes, Great Lake Ontario, the Erie Canal and multiple waterways in between.
Visitors can soak up the 60 and 70-degree September weather by wading through the region’s abundance of outdoor water activities. Below are a few examples of how travelers can still “Get on the Water” in the Finger Lakes well into fall:
Wine Tasting on the Water
Charter a boat with Cayuga Lake’s “Water to Wine Tour,” for a waterside transport to private tastings at some of the region’s most picturesque lakeside wineries.
Cruise Through Fall
Glide along Canandaigua Lake onboard the charming Canandaigua Lady—a 19th century steamboat replica with an authentic double-decker paddle wheeler. Book a private charter through October to take in waterside views with a dinner cruise and rooftop dancing on the spacious upper deck.
Namaste on the Water
At Canandaigua Sailboard, embrace the serene waters with sun salutations atop stand-up paddleboards with guidance from Finger Lakes Yogascape or amp up the experience with an afternoon of wake foiling and windsurfing. To bask in natural beauty, set out to the pristine shorelines of Hemlock and Canadice Lakes, both entirely free from development, where you’ll see more wildlife than people.
Come Sail Away
First-timers should check out Daydream Sailing for a relaxing ride through Canandaigua Lake or a tutorial on the basics of sailing to navigate the waters on your own. Longtime fans will enjoy the Finger Lakes Boating Museum’s collection of 200+ locally made antique boats, including the famed Lightning sailboats and racing boats by aviator Glenn Curtiss.
Hike to the towering 400-ft waterfall (higher than Niagara!) at Taughannock Falls State Park or retreat to Watkins Glen State Park, home to an enchanting gorge path winding over and under 19 waterfalls.
Paddle, Kayak + Canoe
White water raft along the Genesee River as it traverses Letchworth State Park, escape to the warm, shallow waters of Owasco Lake for paddle boarding, swimming and water-skiing or explore Bay Creek (Rochester’s secret wilderness), to kayak past 10 miles of ever-changing views of coves, cottages, mansions and yachts.
The Chemung River’s clean water makes for great fishing (bass, sunfish, walleye) and bird watching opportunities, Cayuta Lake offers excellent warm-water fishing and panoramic views and the Great Lake Ontario is known for excellent trout and salmon fishing off Sodus Bay.